Squidgy Chocolate Torte

Chocolate cake with pomegranate seeds
Mmmm, chocolate

As I write this we are STILL eating Easter leftovers. My Saturday afternoon panic (“OMG, will we have enough food?!”) was totally unnecessary and my family well and truly pulled out the stops.

After the beef salad, my other main contribution was this chocolate torte from a BBC Easy Cook magazine dated November 2014. I bought this at Manchester airport before a flight home – my purchasing decision driven by the fact that it was the cheapest of the food magazines available (which is pathetic as English magazines are generally embarrassingly cheap) and it had James Martin on the cover.

For the past 18 or so months, it’s sat by the side of the bed and been flicked through but never used. This recipe is illustrated by said chocolate torte liberally scattered with pomegranate seeds. As my parents’ tree is going nuts, and everyone in my family likes chocolate (particularly my dad and uncle who are the most vocal about it) I figured it would be a winner.

You can find the recipe on the BBC website where it seems it was first printed in BBC’s Good Food magazine 12 months before being reused in Easy Cook!

On account of not having any light muscovado sugar to hand, I subbed in dark brown sugar but for the remaining ingredients I did as I was told. However, some of the timings in the recipe were a bit off. Beating the eggs & sugar (in a stand mixer, no less) took longer than the 5-8 minutes suggested. The cooking time was similarly optimistic and I had the cake in the oven for an hour. That may be because my spring form tin is slightly smaller than 23cm – its diameter is not marked and I’m not sufficiently bothered to find a tape measure!

There was plenty of topping so any helpers who like to lick out bowls are well served with this recipe. And being light on flour, it keeps excellently.

It’s not the quickest cake to make (beating, beating, beating) but this is definitely a cake that will be made again.

Squidgy Chocolate Torte

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 5 large eggs
  • 225g light muscovado sugar - I used half and half caster sugar & dark brown sugar
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 50g plain flour
  • ganache
  • 150mL cream
  • 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • pomegranate seeds to decorate

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease a 23cm springform tin and line the base.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate. I always do this in the microwave on 30 second bursts, but you can also use a bain-marie - it will just take a bit longer!
  3. Crumble the sugars to remove any lumps (particularly important if you are using dark brown sugar) and then add to the bowl of a stand mixer along with the 5 eggs. Beat until thick, mousse-like, pale and doubled in volume. This takes a long time but once the sugar and eggs are combined you can up the speed a bit.
  4. Gently pour the melted butter and chocolate down the side of the bowl and fold in. Do this thoroughly - until the mixture is even in colour - it takes a while and it will feel like it is never going to happen but it will eventually!
  5. Sift over the almonds, flour and a ¼ tsp salt and fold in.
  6. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake until done. The original recipe says 30-35 mins but this wasn't enough for me - I needed an hour - although I do suspect my cake tin is slightly smaller than 23cm. The cake will rise and the top will be set. As this is squidgy, a skewer inserted in the cake will come out slightly moist with some crumbs attached.
  7. Cool the cake in its tin on a rake (it may sink and/or crack).
  8. To make the ganache, bring the cream to the boil on the stove and pour over the roughly chopped chocolate and icing sugar (always make sure to sift this). Leave for 5 minutes and then stir until all the chocolate is melted. Leave to cool and thicken (I ended up putting this in the fridge) before spreading over the cake.
  9. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve with cream.
http://eatingadelaide.com/squidgy-chocolate-torte/

 

 

Beef Salad with Horseradish

Beef Salad
Beef salad with horseradish dressing

Beef and horseradish is one of my favourite things. However, it’s not something I’d associate with salad. More with a massive roasted joint of meat, lots of crispy, beautifully rendered and seasoned fat served with lots of roast vege and maybe even Yorkshire puddings.

Weather-wise, we’re not quite into roasted meat territory here. But this salad is a great way of enjoying beef and horseradish even if you’re cooking on the BBQ. It doesn’t need to be served hot – we had this as part of our Easter feast and the meat was cooked in advance and left to rest. The salad (bar the avocado) was prepped in advance, as was the dressing. This meant when it came to serving, all I had to do was cut the meat and the avocado and we were good to go.

I daresay this is pretty healthy but it’s also delicious and easy. I recommend cutting the onion and cucumber using a mandolin – otherwise slice as finely as possible. You might want to hold off chopping the cherry tomatoes until the last minute too.

This recipe is based on one I found on Taste. I’ve made changes to suit the household’s preferences.

Beef Salad with Horseradish

Ingredients

  • 600-800g beef - we use rump or sirloin
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • horseradish to taste
  • lime juice
  • 1 bag of mixed salad leaves
  • ¼ continental cucumber, finely sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado

Instructions

  1. Get the steak out of the fridge around half an hour before cooking. Heat your favourite steak cooking pan with fat of choice (we use olive oil, my parents swear by a mix of olive oil and butter). Season the steak well and cook in the hot pan until done to your liking. Don't over crowd the pan - if you've got closer to 800g of steak you'll need to do at least 2 batches.
  2. Set the steak aside to rest (covered with tin foil).
  3. To make the dressing, mix the sour cream, horseradish and lime juice. This is a thick dressing - not a pourable one - so you don't have to add loads of lime juice.
  4. To create the salad, in a large bowl toss the leaves, onion and cucumber. Spread evenly over a large serving platter. Before serving add the sliced avocado and the quartered cherry tomatoes.
  5. Finely slice the beef and add this to the top of the salad. Dot the dressing over and serve immediately.
  6. Pass the dressing separately so people can add more if they wish.
http://eatingadelaide.com/beef-salad-horseradish/

Fudd’s, Aberfoyle Park

Fudd's exterior
Fudd’s – hard to miss – and they sell Swell beer too!

date of visit: Saturday 5 March 2016

This was actually our second visit to Fudd’s. The first, quite a while ago, wasn’t very successful. We dragged along a tired and reluctant child and paid the price. However, during the week preceding this visit, Master 5 announced he wanted a hamburger on a bun with ‘all the additions’. This was spurred on by the fact we’d served him homemade hamburgers without a bun. Because he doesn’t like bread.

This provided us with the opportunity to return to Fudd’s when everyone was in the mood for burgers. On a Saturday Fudd’s is open all day so you can head in at any time which is just perfect for anyone with a small child. If you are planning on arriving at a more conventional meal time, I’d recommend booking. Both times we’ve been there’s been no shortage of punters by the time we left. However, if you’re turning up at 5 – 5:30 – you’re probably OK!

onion rings
onion rings

As this is a burger joint, the menu is dominated by burgers. When we arrived, there was a special on house-made onion rings with house-made ranch dressing. They weren’t cheap – $13 a serve (!) – but we were sold anyway. The onion rings came out first and were delicious (crispy, actual rings of onion that tasted of onion … not the pappy reconstituted onion you sometimes get) and were followed swiftly by our burgers. The cheeseburger for Master 5 (who not only doesn’t like bread but also doesn’t like cheese …), the grilled chicken burger for me and the Texas BBQ for Andy. Andy and Master 5 also had sides of chips. Chips don’t come with your burger as standard – you need to order them.

chicken burger
chicken burger

I didn’t try anyone else’s burger so I’ll speak only for my own. My chicken was well cooked – plenty of chargrill flavour but not dried out in any way and the burger was loaded with salad and the sauces. There’s definitely an argument that the aioli could have had a stronger hit of garlic but the decision to tone that down might have been made in the interests of broad appeal. My only criticism of my burger is that the bun was not quite robust enough to manage the sauces and meat juices and I ended up with burger spread all over my plate and abandoning my hands in favour of cutlery. If you’re bothered by messy hands this may not be for you.

Meal demolished, we came to pay. The bill hit $76 (3 burgers, 2 sides of fries, onion rings and a couple of beers). My gut reaction was that that is not cheap for burgers. But on reflection, I’m not sure my gut reaction is right. Firstly, there were three of us. Master 5 eats the same as an adult so this works out at $25 a head. For dinner. Freshly made, tasty dinner. If you were wanting to economise, you don’t have beer – the beers are local craft beers so they’re not cheap and in our case would have reduced the bill to about $20 a head.

If I’d written this review two weeks ago I would have said Fudd’s was expensive. And while, yes, it’s expensive when compared with heading to local multinational burger chain (ahem), in real terms it’s not expensive.

You get friendly service by staff who clearly have an interest in the business. You get freshly made food that’s tasty, portions are generous (you won’t be hungry) and you have a choice of interesting beverages. So $25 a head for that is not outrageous at all.

Fudd’s
3/40 Sandpiper Crescent
Aberfoyle Park SA 5159
phone: (08) 8270 3833

Fudd's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato